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Workpapers in Papua New Guinea Languages 

2. Outline of Phonemes 

2.1. Chart of consonant phonemes 

Bilabial Alveolar Velar Glottal 


[p b] 

Ct d] 


[k g] 




[Pb pM] 

[tn tN] 




tn H] 


[s 1 IS] 







2.2. Chart of vowel phonemes 

Front Central Bacle 
High i u 

Mid e o 

Low a a : 


Front Central Back 



3. Interpretation 
3.1. Syllable patterns 

The following non-suspect syllable patterns occur: 

V /a/ [a] 

VC /el/ [el] 

VCC /aim/ [aim] 

CV /po/ [pa] 

CCV /kla. len/ [klalen] 

CVC /kop/ [kop] 

CVCC /polk/ [palk] 

CCVC /trum/ [trum] 

CCVCC /plalo/ [plolo] 


'to give (Irrealls)' 

'to shoot' 

• that • 




'kapok tree' 

'finished; altogether' 

3.2. Items which may be either consonant or vowel 

3.2.1. [I] and [u] are Interpreted as vowels when they are syllabic and 
parallel the occurrence of non-suspect vowels' *'i**ii'^ *he syllable. 



'to shoot (irrrealls)' 
'to peel' 

Urim 103 

/ [kunakul ] 'young girl' 

[i] and [u] are interpreted as vowels when they occur as the second 
vowel of a sequence of two vowels, because there are no non-suspect 
sequences of three consonants syllable finally. 

/kQj/ [kai ] 'to go' 

/reJ«/ [rei«] 'cage (for smoking game)' 

/na-urk/ [naurk] 'mango' 

In other positions [i] and [u] are interpreted as consonants, because 
there are no non-suspect sequences of three vowels in a syllable and 
because there are non-suspect sequences of three consonants over syllable 

/^/ [taqguei] 'cheek' 
/wu .roo .kya/ [auroqgla] 'a name' 

( < /wuroo/ 'crowd' /ya/ 'road') 

[w] and [y] are interpreted as consonants, since they are nonsyllabic 
and occur in consonant position of a syllable. 




wa .yu/ 






In words like /kwa/ [kwa] 'up, above' and /kw^ / [kwei ] 'mami' [w] is 
interpreted as consonant , because 

--they are one-syllable words, 

— there are no non-suspect sequences of three vowels within a syllable 

— there are non-suspect consonant sequences syllable initially. 

[w] and [y] occur in the syllable onset only, both word initially and 
medially. They never occur syllable finally. 

3.2.2. [hj is interpreted as consonant, since it occurs only in consonant 
postion in a syllable. It occurs only syllable initially, never in 
consonant clusters, and drops off often, especially in unstressed position 
and after a consonant. 

/hi/ [hi:] 'sore' 

/mo. ho/ [mohoj 'pig's trail' 

/■a.hiri/ [■ahio] - [naiij] 'not done' 

/hipm/ [hipa] 'leaf 


/namui) hipm/ [na«ui]ki pin ] 'banana leaf 

3.3. Non-suspect consonant sequences 

There are the following non-suspect consonant sequences. 


Workpapers In Papua New Guinea Languages 

WORD INITIALLY - stop + /I/ or It/, except [tl] does not occur: 

[pi] /plelo/ [plelq] 'to turn around' 
[tr] /tpu»/ [trua] 'kapok' 
[kl] /klak/ Ckla:k] 'to wash' 

WORD FINALLY - /I/ or It I + bilabial or velar stop or nasal: 

Crk] /nark/ [work] 

[ra] lorml [ara] 

[Ip] /aelp/ [aelp] 

[Iq] /palq/ [palq] 


'wild pltpit' 

'to plant' 


'to arrive, appear, come up' 

On the basis of 

- non-suspect syllable patterns, 

- non-suspect consonant sequences word initially and word finally and 

- word compounds, morphemes and reduplication 

the non-suspect consonant sequences word medially divide into two groups as 

Within syllable: 


/■alq .a .ni /* 
/karq .eP«/ 

[■alqani ] 

' cucumber ' 
' crust ' 

Across syllable boundaries: 
stop + /I/, It I. nasal, stop 



/kap.l )■/ 


■to blow' 



/■ak .rep/ 


'a tree' 


■ ■] 

/ok. ml .lip/ 


' tongue ' 


• t] 





ItI, nasal + 

nasal, stop. 



■ >] 



' thunder ' 


• nl 

/nor. no/ 

[norno: ] 



■ t] 








'to blow (fire) ' 


■ >] 

/■on .Bon/ 







'strong, tight' 





' to sweep ' 

> ED: The /a/ appears in some phonemic forms although it is not listed as a 
phoneme because the author did not always know what the basic form of the 
[a] was. For more discussion, see sections 4.3.1 and 7.2.3. 

Urim 1°5 

3.4. Items which may be either sequence or unit 

3.4.1. Stops plus homorganic nasals ( [pM tS kNl (word final); [pa tn kg] 
(word medial)) are interpreted as unit prestopped nasals although there are 
sequences of reverse order [ap nt ok] i because 

- there are no non-suspect sequences of three consonants syllable 
finally, while the clusters [rpM 1 pM rkN Ik!^! are found word 

- over syllable boundaries they can be followed by more consonants 
than can [sp nt rjk ] and also by consonant sequences, 

- while on the basis of non-suspect consonant sequences syllable 
finally and initially the syllable break in words like [ 'arpmo] 'to 
be' could be after [p] or [■] ( [ ' arp .■a]/t ' arpa-a] ) , in a word like 
[■alkoetl 'hairy' (< [wolkN] 'hair') the syllable break must be 
after the [ij] since there are no [q]-initlal syllables, and 

- the literate villagers identify them as units and as nasals rather 
than stops (see section 7.2.1).' 

/norPa/ [norpM] 'a frog' 
/ [tokoni] 'sun' 

3.4.2. The alveolar or velar stops plus [m] within a syllable are 
interpreted as sequences of two consonants because 

- there are non-suspect sequences of two consonants within syllables, 

- there are no non-suspect sequences of three vowels within syllables, 

- with the following vowel they comprise only one syllable. 

/kwei .kwei / [kneikKei] 'something' 
/Uo-tmaxi/ [kotwag] 'axe' 

The other sequences of consonant plus semivowel ([l.a r.a p. a s.a k.a l.y 
r .y n.y k.y]) are interpreted as sequences of two consonants because of the 
morpheme boundary between them. 

/wap.nar/ [aapaar] 'cross cousins' 

( < /wap/ 'ton tree', /mar/ 'child, pubby, plcklett') 

/■is.nls/ [aisnis] 'to jump on one foot' 

/ [aanyun] 'door' 

( < /wan/ 'house', /yun/ 'house end with hole') 

/kqI. [«aIyo:ru] 'great-grandchild' 

' ED: According to the author there are no contrasts between prestopped 
nasals and sequences of stop-schwa-nasal. Schwas are usually found in the 
first syllable (section 4.3.1) while prestopped nasals are found only 
syllable finally (section 5.1). Thus, another analysis would be to posit 
sequences of stop-schwa-nasal underlying prestopped nasals. 

106 Workpapers in Papua New Guinea Languages 

3.4.3. Nasals plus stops ([a-p n.t ij.k]) are interpreted as sequences since 
they only occur word medially. 

/■aa.peQ/ [naabeal 'bamboo' 

/wan.teo/ [nandeo] 'to cut' 

/uQ.knan/ [urjgnanl - [uijguan] 'to chase away' 

/kaln.ten/ [kalnden] 'strong' 

3.4.4. [ts] is interpreted as a unit since it alternates freely with [s] . 
[ts] is rarer; generally only old people use it. 

/a.ser/ [aser] - [otser] 'to clean (grass)' 

3.4.5. The palatal nasals [n tH tS] are interpreted as units, and they get 
the palatalization feature from the preceding vowel. In some instances it 
is clear that there is a preceding palatalized vowel: 

/ [kaKo] 'to go up' 

( < [kai] 'go' [no] 'to come up') 

There is also a feminine-masculine difference in some words: 

[■QBlkN] 'granddaughter' [■amifl] 'grandson' 
[■ulkQBoyen] 'sister' [■unuro:r] 'brother' 

In these forms the feminine could be /-ikij/ and the masculine /-in/. 
Positing a set of palatalized vowels, even when one does not hear them 
would account for all these forms. 

/kuJn/ [ku:H] 'middle (adv.)' 

/ Ckatlo] 'to go up' 

/kroJtn/ [krotN] - [kroitN] 'very small' 

/ifU*n.l«/ [mitnim] 'aibiga greens' 

3.4.6. The vowel sequences [ai ei oi ui] which occur within syllables are 
Interpreted as units because there are no non-suspect vowel sequences and 
because the first vowel is clearly predominant, [ai] and [ei] occur word 
initially, medially and finally, [oi] and [ui] are rare. 

/<Ll-«ol/ [almol] 'dry (banana) leaf 

/aa.p^/ [aapei] 'vine' 

/■uJ^O-^iLin/ [mulkiiBua] 'sister and brother' 

The vowel sequences [ai au eu io ie] which occur across syllable 
breaks are interpreted as sequences of two vowels because 

- there is a syllable break between the vowels, 

- both vowels are relatively long and sound like a peak of a separate 

syllable each, and 

- either vowel can be stressed. 

/la.ik/ [lolk] 'to shake; to wind' 

/■a.ur/ [aaur] 'spirit' 

Urim 107 

3.4.7. Long vowels are Interpreted as units because there are no 
non-suspect sequences of two vowels. 

/■on/ [aa:!!] 'mother' 

/ [o:ket] 'fruit bearing' 

4. Description of Phonemes 

4.1. Segmental phonemes 


Voiceless stops occur word Initially, medially and finally, and in 
consonant sequences. Each voiceless stop tends to get voiced word medially 
following a homorganlc nasal, and also word initially if the previous word 
ends with a homorganlc nasal. 

/pa/ [po] 'that' 

/ta.por/ [taper] 'to break' 

/prek/ [prek] 'a plant' 

/telp/ [telp] 'knife' 

/kar.pen/ [karpen] 'to blow (fire)' 

/nam. pa/ [namba] 'dog' 

/a. to/ [ata] 'only (with numerals)' 

/wun.ta/ [wunda] 'ant' 

/kla.len/ [klalen] 'holy; light' 
/koij.ket/ [kooget] 'black' 


The prestopped nasals occur voiceless word finally and voiced word 
medially. Both variants can combine with other consonants in both 
positions. They do not occur word Initially. The bilabial and alveolar 
nasals occur word Initially, medially and finally, and in consonant 
sequences word medially and finally. The velar nasal occurs word medially 
and finally, also in consonant sequences in both positions. The alveolar 
prestopped nasal and nasal become palatalized following a palatalized 
vowel. The vowel usually loses its palatalization. 

/nePn.el/ [nepael ] 'by foot' 

/kalP«.un/ [kalpBun] '(f.i. breadfruit) flower' 

/marPa/ [marpM] 'money' 

/a.kl*-n.en/ [akitnen] 'your, sg. 2. gen.' 

/kitn/ [kItN] 'you, sg. 2' 

/«U* [nitnin] 'dog's fleas' 

/kru.riiJ*n/ [krurutK] 'a caterpillar' 

/ [watkoet] 'hot' 
/ ttakoni] 'sun' 
/walXQ/ [walkN] 'hair' 

108 Workpapers in Papua New Guinea Languages 

/■on. to/ [Bondo] 'pig' 
/\\m/ (li«] 'nose' 

/na-BUQ/ [noBuo] 'banana' 
/won/ [»an] 'house' 

/■■Un ur.or/ [Bufi uror) 'brother' 

/nan- 11/ [nanil] 'mosquito' 
/ao-ko/ [aoWo:] 'to fall (realis)* 


/s/ occurs word Initially, medially, and finally, also in consonant 

sequences word medially. It varies freely with allophones [^S) and (with 
older people) [J]- 

/o.ser/ [aser] - [olSer] 'to clean (grass)' 
/kan.slB/ [konslm] - [kanlSI.] 'to sweep' 
/ [Ulnlpls] - [kinipitS] 'stingy' 

/h/ occurs word Initially and medially, but can be left out especially in 
unstressed position. In speech flow it Is left out after a consonant: 
also word Initially and medially between vowels it sometimes drops off. 
( See 3.2.2.) 

/hul/ [hul] - [ul] 'snake' 

/■a.hiq/ [Bahii]] - [Boio] 'undone (food)' 


/I/ occurs word initially, medially and finally, and in consonant 
sequences . 

/a.l llo/ 


' to smoke 

/I OS/ 


' hawk ' 



'to come' 


/f/ occurs word Initially, medially and finally, and in consonant 
sequences . 

/fes/ [fes] 'an edible plant' 

/kfa^o/ [kfak^') 'mark, letter, carving' 

/weFk/ twefk] 'feathers' 


/■/ and /y/ occur word initially and medially. 

/no. we/ [no»e] 'to wear, to dress up' 

/■ [nanyun] 'door' 

/yuq/ [yuij] 'bird of paradise' 




All vowels occur word initially, medially, and finally. 

/i !■/ 
/ko-ki / 

[i la] 
[kaki ] 

■to shoot (Irrealis 
' you sg . 2 ' 
'to peel' 


[wel ] 

'to give (irrealis) 

/a -mc/ 


'to die (fire) • 

/a. me/ 
/kali .la/ 

[kaki ] 
[kati la: ] 

'to die (fire) ' 
'to peel' 
'to follow' 

/ok / 



/iiol / 

[no! ] 


/o. lo/ 

[alo: ] 

'to wipe' 

/ur . is/ 

[ur i s] 

'one ' 





ik i :H J 

' woman ' 

/«u»^n .ftjk/ 
/a . rej n/ 
/k«u po/ 

[ftutneik ] 
[ka i po ] 

'sago leaf sheaf 
'to be sorry' 

/pqj n / 


'to go' 
'stools ' 

/■o.roJij.kll/ [aaraiakll] - [aaraiokil] 'chin' 

/krcu'n/ [kroit.'S:] - [krotS] 'very small' 

/■HJ"!] ao .yen/ [auikQaayen] 'sister' 
^\iV.}n/ [ku:n] 'middle' 

4.3. Supra-segmental items 

4.3.1. Stress 

It has been somewhat difficult to determine what stress is in Urim. 
Perceived stress seems to be inconsistent, varying with different 
repetitions of the lexical item. There is a central vowel which never 
occurs in one-syllable words or in word final syllables. Because of its 
restricted distribution, it seemed inappropriate to interpret it as an 
independent phoneme. As examples, consider the fol-lowing two-syllable 
words, in which there are the possibilities of istressed and ifull vowel 

110 Workpapers in Papua New Guinea Languages 

combinations. These would suggest that both stress and the central vowel 
were phonemic . 

/'■o.le/ [Bale] 'cave' 

/■a.'lo/ [■ala:] 'who' 

/to. "pen/ [tapo:n] 'to squeeze' 
/"takQ-a/ [takqa:] 'a fruit' 

About 230 two-syllable and three-syllable words in frame were studied 
with the help of the supra-segmental analyzer in order to better determine 
the acoustic correlates of stress. The analyzer records pitch, length and 
loudness. Most of the two-syllable words seemed to divide into two groups: 

1. Those with the first syllable vowel more prominent (louder, longer and 
less ballistic (= has a slower rate of amplitude decay)/ louder and 
longer/ same length but louder/ same length but louder and less 
ballistic/ same loudness but longer/ same loudness and length but less 
ballistic). There were no central vowels in these words. 

■2. Those with the second syllable vowel more prominent (louder, longer and 
iless ballistic/ same loudness but longer) . All of these had a 
centralized vowel in the first syllable (exception: u could sometimes 
occur in this less prominent postion) . 

Prom the rest of the two-syllable words studied, which did not fit to 
these two groups, it was difficult to decide whether the vowel in the first 
syllable or in the second syllable was more prominent. Some of the words 
with no central vowels in them had a longer vowel in the first syllable and 
a louder vowel in the second. Most of the words had a louder vowel in the 
first syllable and a longer vowel in the second syllable and nearly all the 
louder vowels of the first syllables were centralized. 

/ta.pis/ [tapis] 'to peel' [a] longer, [I] louder 
/ta'^o-a/ [takQo:] 'a fruit' [a] louder, [a] longer 
/ha.rok/ [harok] 'sculp' [a] louder, [o] longer 

Could it be that the length of the vowel is more important feature than the 
loudness and so the longer, full vowel syllable would be stressed? On the 
other hand, open syllables word finally, as in [takoa:] tend to be 
generally longer anyway. 

The sound auialyzer did not give any more light to the stress, but 
studying the vowel combinations of the two-syllable words leads one to 
postulate the following "vowel harmony" rule: 

In successive syllables vowels normally go from open to more closed. 
Any sequence of vowels in which the transition is from an open vowel 
to a more closed one or in which the vowels are phonemlcally 
Identical, will result in the first vowel being reduced to [a]. 

This "vowel harmony" rule coupled with the following stress rule 
systematizes the distribution of both the stress and the central vowel. 

Urim 111 

Stress is on the first full vowel syllable of the root. It is 
manifested by ±louder, tlonger, tless ballistic (tham the preceding 
vowel(s)) and -centralized vowel features. It has to have at least two 
of these features. 

Thus, neither are phonemic. These rules work within the root.» 

Examples of vowels going from open to more closed: 

/^o/ ['karplkN'] 'widow' 

/ka.rek/ ['korek] 'hen, rooster' 

/wen. tin/ ['wendlo] 'junction' 

/ko.«uo/ ['koauQ] 'a bird' 

/a.tok/ ['atok] 'white ant' 

/ko.nuko/ ['kanukNl 'later' 

Examples of words with [a]: 

In some words the [a] does not always sound exactly central but towards a 
full vowel, especially if pronounced slowly. That full vowel is posited as 
the underlying form of the [a]. 

/ten. tar/ [ten'tor] - [tan'tor] 'miserable' 

/ne.nol/ [ne'nol] - [na'nol] 'mushroom' 

/ [nAB'ba] - [nam'ba] 'dog' 

/to.kor/ [to'kor] - [ta'kor] 'not red' 

/ [ku'lu] - [ka'lu] 'bottom' 

Nearly all of the two-syllable irrealis verbs have [a] in the first 
syllable. I suspect that /i/ is the underlying form for the [a], since in 
one-syllable verbs the realis/irrealls is manifested by a/1 change (/al/ 
[a:l] 'to eat' (realis), /I/ [1:1] 'to eat' (irrealis)). 

/tl.kero/ [ta'kero] ' to peel off [takerq] (realis) 
/kir.kuk/ [kar'kuk] 'to have a bath' [kar'kuk] (realis) 
/l.lUn/ [a'llfi] 'to plant' [o'llJI] (realis) 

In many cases it is not obvious what the underlying form of [a] would be 
because it is very reduced, especially if it occurs word initially. 

/arpa.a/ [arpa'a] 'to be' 
/aokark/ [aa'kark] 'to be afraid' 
/ [a'nu] 'female' 

The "vowel harmony" rule does not apply over morpheme or word 
boundaries. If the first syllable of a three-syllable word is stressed, the 
third syllable usually gets a secondary stress. 

/■et-en/ [aeten] 'younger sister/brother (same sex)' 

3 ED: Another possible analysis would be that stress is assigned to the 
second vowel when more closed than the first, otherwise to the first. An 
unstressed vowel in the first syllable would then be reduced to [a] . 

JJ2 Workpapers in Papua New Guinea Languages 

/IrpB.lo-kIs/ [arp«'iokis] 'hairless' 
/■a.rta-pen/ C'aariB'pen] 'young person' 

In reduplicated words, too, the vowels usually are not centralized 
becauB* of the wprd boundary in between. All parts are stressed; the first 
one gets the primary stress. 

/■ag-no*/ ['noo'noij] •sing-sing' 

/kl-kl/ ['kl'kl] 'day after day after tomorrow' 

4.3.2. Length 

Length is contrastive only in fully closed one-syllable words 
(C)CVC(C). Thus far only /a/ and la-l have been found contrasting in 
identical environment. 

/nog/ tnoo] 'na«e' 

/na:o/ [00:0] 'ridge' 

/klok/ tklok] 'crab' 
/kla:k/ [kla:k] 'to wash" 

If not purposely contrasting the length, it seems that the nature of 
the contrast Is one between short and potentially long. Short and 
potentially long seans that some words seen to be always short and in some 
the length of the vowel varies (often long, but can be short). 



- [nepM] 

■ coconut ' 
'foot, leg' 


[yo:n] - 

- [yon] 

'a grub' 

/hi Pa/ 


- IhopM] 

•leaf • 

Ho length contrast is possible in non-fully bounded syllables. In VCC 
syllables and words like the functor /ei]/ and a few small words which never 
occur in isolation, vowels are short; in all others vowels are long. 



• to shoot ' 
'to put' 



'for, in order to 
' now ' 



'grass ' 
' mouth • 

When the one-syllable words are part of multi-syllable words, they 
usually keep their length. 



/ik.el/ ii:kel] 'thorny' 
( < [l:kl 'thorn' [et] 'adj.') 

In multi-syllable words the length Is often coupled with the stress. 

4.3.*. Intonation 
Falling Int onation 
Statement : 

[paipatni koki kwe I raapukNl 'Pelpatnl peeled maml for drying. 

[kupM kai sepik] 'I am from Sepik. ' 

Command : 

[kitn lo pen] 

[tuku I elkiS ya : ] 
Rising • Intonation 
Interrogative : 

'Say It again! 

'Go out of the way! 

[kuRa-ki 1 ] 

[k i tn numbel ko I ai : ] 


I-evel or Rising Intonation 


'What is it?' 

'How are you siclc?' 

[hu: kop wotel- Konukqis- taqkoren- puQkls-.-.] 

'Red, green, white and yellow swamps... 


[■endekij no : rna : rna : rno : r- . . . ] 'We two came down and down. 


Workpapers In Papua New Guinea Languages 

Quotation Formula: 

[kupa asen tetN-...] 

'I ask you. 

[kupB lala: paipM papa:-,...] 'If I say It wrong,...' 

5. Distribution 
5.1. Syllable 

Syllable structure is as follows: 


C, - if C, = 0, all except prestopped consonants or /q/; otherwise 
only voiceless stops can occur 

C, - only /I r w/ can occur, except for */tl/ 

Ca - only /I r/ can occur 

C« - if C3 = 0, all consonants except /h m y/; otherwise only nasals, 
or bilabial and velar voiceless stops and prestopped nasals (The 
one occurrance of /n/ is in /kaln.ten/ [kalnten] 'strong'.) 

V - all vowels can occur 

For examples of syllables see section 3.1. 

All syllable types occur in both positions of two-syllable words. 

5.2. Consonants 

The following sequences of two consonants have been found: 





















1 > word medial over syllable boundaries 

2 - word initial 

3 « word final 

4 - word medial within syllables 











Urlm 115 

5 = only over word boundaries of compound words 

The following sequences of three consonants occur: 

CC.C: /lo/ or /rij/ + /t/ or /k/ 
/r»/ or /!■/ + /p/ 
/In/ + /t/ 
across word boundaries: /Iq.p rk.*/ 

C.CC: /a.p/ or /(j.k/ + /I/ or /r/ 
/o/ or /I/ or /r/ + /k«/ 
across word boundaries: /Pa. pi ><i].kr ■ . pw n-tn q-ky ■■py 

6. Morphophonologlcal Rules 

The following tentative rules are ordered as indicated. In some cases 
the ordering is not essential but in several cases it is crucial that one 
rule be applied before the others. The closer knit the structure is, the 
more obligatorily most of these rules apply. 

6.1. Insertion rules 

6.1.1. A homorganic stop is inserted after a word final nasal if the 
following morpheme (except some suffixes) starts with a vowel, semivowel, 
/h/, or /r/. The /h/ then deletes, while the semivowel becomes a vowel 
{w > u; y > 1 ) . 

/warn arP»e/ [wa»parp«e] 'to hold (with hands)' 

/yon ham/ [yondoa] 'name (father, hidden)' 

/puo-is/ [puokis] 'yellow' 

/won rakole/ [wontrakole] 'to remember' 

6.1.2. A homorganic nasal is generally inserted at morpheme boundaries 
before a stop if the preceding morpheme ends with a vowel or /!/. 

/aPma PdiPm/ [ap»o«peipM] 'navel cord' 
/kqj kdj/ [kolokai] 'to go (cont.)' 
/al-tu/ [alntu] 'their, pi. 3. gen.' 

6.1.3. A /■/ is generally inserted between vowels at morpheme breaks if the 
second morpheme is a one-syllable suffix. Before a one-syllable enclitic, 
the inserted consonant is /y/ after /I/ and either /h/ or /w/ in other 
cases . 

/ori-e/ [arlne] 'to know' (suffix) 

/akle-oPm/ [akIewopM] 'scold me' (enclitic) 

/ari-e-o/ [oriweho] 'learn!' (suffix and enclitic) 

/awl-el/ [aniyel] 'take it' (enclitic) 

6.1.4. A transitional vowel is usually inserted between consonants at word 
boundaries if these consonants do not combine with each other within a 
word. The vowel is typically [a], alternating with [o] or [e]. 

/kUn liq/ [kiReliq] - [kitlaliq] 'name (woman, cassowary)' 

116 Workpapers In Papua New Guinea Languages 

/i««0 la/ [i:kqala:] - [l:koala:] - [l:kijla:] 'to spy' 

6.2 Deletion rules 

6.2.1 If two vowels occur at word boundaries the second one is usually 

/yo ok/ [yo:k] 'tree fruit' 

/ake antine/ [akentliie] 'not able' 

6.2.2. The palatalization of vowels is usually deleted at word boundaries. 

/koj aqko/ [kagko:] 'go and fall' 

/kdJ koJ/ [kaokal] - [kalijkal] 'to go (cont.)' 

6.3. Assimilation rules 

6.3.1. /n/ and /tn/ become palatalized following a palatalized vowel, with 
the vowel usually losing its palatalization. For examples see section 

6.3.2. The central vowel [a] tends to assimilate to the preceding full 
vowel . 

/ok afma/ [orkopma] 'food (mouth, stomach)' 

A vowel between two vowels, one of which is closed and the other open, 
tends to change into a mid vowel in the transition. 

/HUnll lam/ [ml fie lam] - [■iffalam] 'name (a worm, hidden)' 

6.4. Dissimilation Rules 

6.4.1. Word initial /t/ often becomes [s] or [JtS] following a word final 
palatalized nasal, the nasal losing its palatalization. 

/pQjn taqkil/ [pa:ntaQkil] 

> [pa:ntsiQki I ] - [pa:nsiqkil] 'toilet' 

/kitn 11/ [kltn] - [kItH] 

> [kitntsi] 'you here' 

/y/ becomes [s] or [%S] when following a word final [nt]. (This rule 
applies after 6.1.1. has applied.) 

/■on yan/ [mainsa:!]] - [maintSain] - [Bainyarn] 

'parents (mother, father)' 

6.4.2. The suffix /n/ becomes /q/ following /r/ or /I/, (/rn/ and /In/ are 
not allowed consonant sequences syllable finally) . 

/kopor-n/ [kaporq] 'to break' 

/plel-n/ [plelq] 'to turn around' 

/per-n-en/ [perqten] 'quickly' (rule 6.1.1. applies first) 

Workpapers in Papua Kew Guinea Languages 
Volume 31 

Five Ptionoa ogi caii S -t± e»s 

Summer Institute of Linguistics 
Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea